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As the first chapter of an accident analysis devoted to industrial automation within the ARIA base, this study examines in detail a selection of 345 accidents involving sensors which occurred within the sectors of Chemicals-Pharmaceuticals, Refining, Food processing and Metallurgy.

An in-depth analysis of these accidents, sector by sector, serves to draw lessons aimed at reducing accident frequency and severity related to this equipment. The generic nature of these lessons simplifies their transposition to any industrial facility that relies on sensor use.
This study shows that the underlying cause of a majority of critical sensor malfunctions responsible for or exacerbating accidents can be found in dysfunctions in the organisational chain throughout the sensor life cycle.

Published in 2012